Filed under: Featured , News , UFC Even though professional wrestling isn’t real fighting, it doesn’t necessarily count against you as an MMA fighter – or at least in the case of Phil “ CM Punk ” Brooks. When Brooks (0-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) was administratively granted a license to fight Mickey Gall (2-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) at Saturday’s UFC 203 event despite no professional or amateur MMA fights, Ohio Athletic Commission Executive Director Bernie Profato told MMAjunkie that Punk’s pro-wrestling experience actually helped him get a license. “We felt this was no different than, basically, the Brock Lesnar situation, when they let him fight in the UFC,” Profato said of the former UFC heavyweight champion and NCAA Division I national wrestling champion. “We have confidence in the matchmaking of the UFC. It looks like a competitive fight.” Profato added that Gall’s relative inexperience as a professional and Punk’s training at Roufusport in Milwaukee were factors in granting him a license – waiving a commission rule that requires prospective pros to have five amateur fights. The commission head expressed great confidence in Punk’s work with Roufusport head coach Duke Roufus – though he admitted he hadn’t seen Punk train in person – and said the former pro-wrestling champ is capable of competing safely.
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